gloss over–not

If someone actually counted how many pink lip glosses I’ve bought in my lifetime, I’m quite certain I’d have enough to open up shop. For as long as I can remember, they’ve been the dominant force in my makeup arsenal. In fact, you could chronicle my pink-gloss purchases on a cosmetic timeline that began in childhood….

I’m going to blame the advent of this fixation on a babysitter, who sent me a pink, pepperminty, Avon “Lipkins” one year at Christmas-time. (For those fortunate enough to be under 40 and have no idea what I’m talking about, it was a makeup collection launched in the late Sixties to celebrate Disneyland’s Small World exhibit).  Since the Avon lady never called at our house, I thought it was the coolest gift I’d ever received.

Avon's Small World collection...

At age 10, my friend, Elizabeth, and I walked to the nearest Rexall drugstore, and for $2.50, bought our first Bonne Bell Lip Smackers—the hottest new gloss on the market. Mind you, these originals were biggie-sized, and if you were really cool, you’d get the version that would hang on a rope around your neck. My choice was watermelon…green tube outside; pale, glossy pink on the inside. If memory serves, my second purchase was Bubble Gum (yes, it was pink), and it smelled like Dubble Bubble. I am nothing if not consistent.

The first Lip Smacker ad...

Extra-cool if you got roped in...

By age 12, my sixth-grade friends and I were cashing in on Maybelline’s revolutionary Kissing Potion (I chose Strawberry Swirl)–a roller-ball-topped vial of gloss that was so ridiculously shiny and slick, I’m quite certain the tagline backfired.  No boy wanted to get near our greased-up mouths, which were liberally touched up at least once an hour.

We thought we looked slick. We did. A little too slick.

In middle school, things got sexier, thanks to Yardley’s Pot o’ Gloss, which had a cool, metallic shimmer that called to mind the lips of Farrah Fawcett (and had no connection to Ireland, as far as I could tell).

I had my finger on (and in) this lip-gloss trend.

So did Farrah.

It’s kind of been going on like this ever since. I occasionally jump ship and try out something a little redder or a little more beige—but those products always end up gathering dust in the drawer, and I head back out on my eternal search for the PERFECT pink. The amusing part of this routine is that I’m always convinced I’ve found the holy grail of glosses: Last year, it was Estee Lauder’s High Gloss, which a) does not cause my hair to stick to my lips every time the wind blows; b) applies right from the tube without that messy, two-part brush business; and c) has a subtle shimmer that brings me right back to middle school.

Estee Lauder's High Gloss collection; $16 each.

My favorite of the bunch: #10 Rose

This year, I’ve one-upped myself with L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Le Gloss in Baby Blossom, which has all the attributes of the Lauder (minus the shimmer—which I’m kind of preferring now), and costs only $6.

My current fave: L'Oreal's Colour Riche Le Gloss in Baby Blossom.

For the same price as one tube of last year’s Lauder, I have three tubes…one in my purse, one in my car, and one in my bathroom.

I give it two months.

  • marcy

    Hillary…OMG…did this bring back memories….again, seperated at birth! In my desk drawer are four different pinky lip glosses. I found the one I love (and so glad I stocked up) was honey doo from victoria’s Secret! It is peachy-pink. Too bad I was the only person to purchase it as it was discontinued!!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:32 am
  • Mikel Anne

    Oh, Hillary! I remember ALL of these oldies! So fun!

    November 9, 2011 at 7:56 am